Still Dreaming: An Update On Travel To Sicily

The ancient tonnara (tuna fishery and cannery) at Scopello is now a swimming spot.

Dream now, travel later.

The Latest About Italy Travel From Experience Sicily

By Allison Scola

The European Union is easing its travel restrictions for foreign nationals as of July 1. But not so fast—that does not yet mean that American citizens are allowed to enter Italy. It only means that individual EU countries have the ability to determine who they will permit to cross their borders. Unlike Portugal and Greece, for example, Italy has not given any indication of when the government plans to permit Americans to enter without a completed declaration form (outlining a very good reason for entry) and a definitive plan for self-quarentining for 14 days. Importantly, we Americans are still under a Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory from the United States government, so don’t be making your espresso and cappuccino dates just yet.

Meanwhile, Sicilian officials are laying the groundwork for international tourism to restart. This week the government launched its Sicilia Si Cura app that is available to travelers arriving in the region. The app is designed to track your presence in Sicily and provide you with vital information, should you need it regarding COVID-19. Should you develop symptoms that could be COVID-19, the app enables users to report your situation and advises you how to seek medical treatment. Once you leave Sicily, you can unsubscribe from the service and all personal information will be deleted.

Personally, I feel confident about traveling in Sicily, and I think the lull in tourism will offer intrepid and prudent travelers something very special. The real question that remains for me is, is it safe to fly? According to Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian, who appeared on ABC news recently, and representatives I’ve spoken to at United, as well as what I’ve read on the Alitalia website, the airlines have created as sterile an environment as they can, but ultimately, curbing transmission is dependent upon everyone on the flight wearing a face mask. A photographer in Italy I communicated with today said he has flown seven times this past week. He explained that planes are at such low capacity that social distancing is not a problem. The next weeks will illustrate to us the answer.

In sum, my sense is that the Italian border will open in the weeks ahead, but currently, travel to Italy is still a wait and see situation. So, now is the time to keep dreaming and planning. Patience is certainly a virtue. That espresso macchiato I dreamed about Tuesday night will have to wait.

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